Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Fong Mong Tea on eBay
Sun Moon Lake black tea can be declared “Red Treasure” in central Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County is surrounded with mountains and lakes with remarkable environment and typical climate. Heavy moist and stable yearly average temperature make the tea trees grow thick and rich tea leaves which produce carmine and perfectly clear liquor. Its unique sweet aroma and strong mint taste make it truly unforgettable. It is also the best ingredient to make “bubble tea” (the most famous Taiwanese tea drink on earth).
I have really enjoyed the few Sun Moon Lake black teas I’ve tried thus far, and this is certainly one of the nicest I’ve encountered.
I love the aroma! It is so warm and comforting, that I like to hold the cup up to my lips and just inhale the fragrance. It smells sweet, rich, and has notes of fruit as well as some bold earthy tones and hints of woody scents in the background.
The flavor is so unique – quite unlike other black teas I’ve encountered. It has a fruity profile that is sweet and possesses hints of sour as well. It is bold and invigorating while at the same time maintaining a soothing sort of quality.
The earthiness here is not so much earth or peat as it is like the earthiness you might experience from a mushroom – like a Portabello. Sort of meaty like that. There are woodsy type notes to this as well, distant wood notes, maybe even a hint of smoke.
It has a fair amount of astringency, but it isn’t bitter. Then again, that could be attributed to my steeping – I steeped this at 200°F for 2 1/2 minutes. I suspect I could have achieved a very interesting cup using my gaiwan, but, I’m quite happy with the cup I brewed using my Breville One-Touch: it is rich, delicious and possesses so many interesting nuances, that I find myself sipping just to see what I might discover next. And that is one of the best qualities any tea can have!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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